Death and the Maiden Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What technique does Roberto think Paulina and Gerardo are using?

2. Roberto asks what of Gerardo?

3. What is one possible symbolic meaning to this last scene?

4. What does Paulina say about the way Roberto takes his coffee?

5. What does Paulina want to know about Gerardo's affair with this woman?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The fact that this scene is set just before dawn could be symbolic of the dawn of realization that Roberto is not exempt from retaliation for his past deeds.

1. Why do you think the dawn could symbolize justice for Roberto?

2. At this point in the play Paulina is convinced Roberto is guilty, though Gerardo is not. As a reader do you believe Paulina's assertion? Why or why not?

3. If dawn might symbolize justice, could it also symbolize bringing the past to light? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

As Paulina pays for some candy at the concert, Roberto enters. According to the stage direction, he may be real, or just in Paulina's head.

1. Do you think Roberto is there or that Paulina killed him? Why or why not?

2. If Paulina killed him, why do you think she would see him at a concert that played Schubert's Death and the Maiden?

3. Do you think it is more likely that Roberto is at the concert or that Paulina is insane? Explain your answer.

Essay Topic 3

We are left wondering whether she would actually shoot him at the end of Act 2, Scene 1. Or would Gerardo forget something in the house and return to stop her? We are then forced to literally look at ourselves and those around us. What would each of us do in the same situation? Would we shoot, or let him live the rest of his days with his terrible secret?

1. Do you think you would do what Paulina is doing in her circumstances? Why or why not?

2. Do you think living with what he has done is worse punishment than killing him? Why or why not?

3. If you were a police officer called to the scene of Paulina killing Roberto, after listening to the confession, what would you do? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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